Burning Man Talk at the Nevada Museum of Art...

I have always been a rather free spirit and the thought of Burning Man has always appealed to me (Steve- not so much). When I learned of this talk, I knew it was possibly the closest I would ever come to this extraordinary phenomenon.

We began the exciting evening with a special preview of the Burning Man Archives. Next year the Museum will be showcasing the history of Burning Man with an extensive collection that has made even the Smithsonian envious. While ogling history, I met Will Roger who discovered Burning Man in 1994, through his life partner Crimson Rose. Together and with several others, he co-founded Black Rock City, LLC, which has overseen the Burning Man event for over twenty years.
The presenter was Michael Michael, an avid futurist with an interest in technology and social communities, who joined Burning Man in 1988 and initialized much of Burning Man’s progress over the years. In 1991, he drove the first art car to Burning Man and in 1992, he founded the Black Rock Rangers (a volunteer and much needed policing group). In 1995, he developed the logo design which has become the symbol of the Burning Man community.
Michael's presentation was over 1 1/2 hours long and there is no way I can share the extensive details he shared. His presentation began at the beginning, on Baker Beach in San Francisco, when artist Mary Grauberger hosted Summer Solstice Parties with the evening's conclusion being the burning of driftwood sculptures.
In 1986, Mary stopped hosting these events and her friend, Larry Harvey 'picked up the torch' and ran with it. He began with an 8' man and his dog. Eventually, they were driven away from the beach by authorities and found a place in the Nevada desert. The rest is history!
We were mesmerized by the history lessons and images Michael shared. He told us of Burning Man's evolution and growth. It has been one heck of an adventure. From the first Art Car (his as the result of a San Francisco earthquake).
To the public works of art which have become famous.
We learned of the struggles of controlling the crowds, the escalating need for secure boundaries and the outside media that drew so much attention to the event that eventually, at 70,000 attendees in 2011, Burning Man sold out.

The ultimate lesson we learned is that Burning Man is more than just a ginormous rave in the desert. The organizers describe it as, "A city in the desert. A culture of possibility. A network of dreamers and doers." It is a place to find out who you are and take it a step further. Its Ten Principles, if applied to the real world, would make life better.
It is said, "The Mind is like a parachute, it doesn't work if it isn't open!" After tonight's talk, I'm ready to jump!

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